SAVING THE 698 in a way we didn’t predict
The USS Bremerton SSN698, the longest serving active duty fleet submarine in the US Navy has recently received new life.
Up until last year, Bremerton was scheduled for decommissioning and many friends of the boat had become more concerned about how to preserve all or part of the submarine for historical interest, not wanting to lose the memory of this important part of the US Navy’s Silent Service.
The fate of our beloved boat seemed imminent, decommissioning in Fall 2017.
The Navy is producing the multi-mission Virginia Class submarines at an accelerating rate while older Los Angeles Class subs are heading for recycling performed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington State.
Click on the link below to see the local Bremerton, Washington news article for the 2016 state of the Navy’s submarine and nuclear ship recycling program.
At last, even veterans are still influenced by “The needs of the Navy”
With the fate of the boat looming in what would be the not too distant future, predetermined by the needs of the Navy and the ominous recycling schedule for retiring submarines, the frequency of old shipmates connecting with each other in person and through social media has been building momentum as the prospects grew for preparing a giant reunion in time for the decommissioning ceremony.
Turns out there are other wheels turning in the world of keeping up superior force naval strength and Bremerton stands to benefit. According to Captain Alan Beam, former CO of the Bremerton,”[Bremerton’s] life has been extended. No decommissioning date for the Bremerton has been published.”
New Life for USS Bremerton
The Bremerton finds herself in a unique position of helping support critical capability to the US submarine fleet in an age where anti-submarine operations, submarine deployed weapons and special operations are projected to operate in unprecedented levels in the foreseeable future having to confront the Chinese Navy’s developing global and regional threat, Russia’s exercising its power in its effort to restore its former glory in the new Cold War and Islamic terror-based expansionism to add to the complex affairs of the national defense of the United States and its interests.
On the other hand, through a fateful combination Bremerton’s success in her attack boat role, timely upkeeps which involve new reactor fuel, and perhaps a little hard luck of other US submarines (which have had their lives cut short by accidents or cannibalization) the Bremerton is now projected to see at least a couple more generations of crew members as she is authorized to keep her active role for what could be at least a good 40 years of service from her commissioning in 1981.
Considering the average submarine life is about 30 years, Bremerton is doing much better than sitting along side a pier taking on tourists (even if that were possible). She is out there, continuing to receive the attention of a highly trained and experienced submarine crew and the monetary funding of the government to continue serving the United States to keep doing what she was designed to do.
In the old Cold War and this new one
Patriae Defensor Ad Hoc Adsum
See the 2016 video of our seagoing classic, video produced by Kitsap Sun reporter Josh Farley below. One of the best walk though videos I’ve seen as given by the boat’s captain Wes Bringham as the tour guide. Capt. Bringham helps puts you in the mind of the current generation of submariners serving aboard Bremerton.
View this 45 minute video for a good overall strategic look at the US Navy submarine fleet with a focus on the new backbone of the submarine fleet, the Virginia Class. (And by the way whoever created this You-Tube video slide it should be spelled “Deadliest” not “Deadliest”, good video though).
SAVE THE 698
Are you passionate about preserving the USS Bremerton in any way shape or form after her decommissioning for the benefit of the public and of naval history? You are invited to a new closed group forum on Facebook “SaveThe698” to be involved in public discussion related to Saving 698. You can see the group site by clicking HERE.
The OFFICIAL AUGUST 22-25, 2016 RENO 30+ YEAR REUNION WEBSITE IS ONLINE
Event and activity information and Sign-Up options are all there.
We will be at the beautiful Grand Sierra Resort in Reno
go to: www.BremertonReunion.com OR click on REUNION IMAGE BELOW!